Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Virus may control Australia’s ‘river rabbit’

11.09.2006
CSIRO scientists are investigating a potential new biological control agent that could hold the key to eradicating one of the nation’s most invasive aquatic pests – carp.

Researchers at CSIRO Livestock Industries’ Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong – with the Department of Primary Industries Victoria – are investigating Koi herpesvirus as a means of controlling the introduced fish.

Project leader Dr Mark Crane says the virus, which first emerged in Israel in 1998*, caused mass mortalities in carp in the US, the UK, Israel, the Netherlands, Japan and Indonesia. So far the virus does not appear to have reached Australia.

Supported with $355,000 from the newly formed Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre and the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, the two-year project will investigate the effectiveness of Koi herpesvirus in controlling strains of carp present in Australia and will examine whether the virus will have any impact on certain native fauna.

“All testing will be done within the secure biocontainment facilities at CSIRO AAHL,” Dr Crane says.

Dr Crane says while carp are a valuable resource in Asian countries, in Australia the fish is generally viewed as a major pest.

“Given their reproductive capacity and their hardiness, carp have been termed the ‘rabbit of the river’.”

Carp were introduced into Australia in the early 1900s as a food and sporting fish. During extensive flooding in the 1970s the fish escaped from farm dams and took over the waterways. They can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures, salinity and pH levels. Carp can also survive and breed in polluted, poorly oxygenated water.

“The fish grow to up to 20 kilograms or more in weight and each female can lay up to three million eggs in a single season,” Dr Crane says. “In some areas of south-eastern Australia carp make up more than 85 per cent of the fish in the rivers and creeks.

“The virus works by attacking the carp’s gills as well as other vital organs and eventually killing its host. Koi herpesvirus is attractive as a biological control agent as overseas studies suggest that it has a very limited host range, infecting only carp.

“If the laboratory studies show promise, the next step will be extensive government, public and industry consultation to determine the best course of action to control carp, while protecting and restoring Australia’s valuable waterways,” Dr Crane says.

The virus works by attacking the carp’s gills as well as other vital organs and eventually killing its host.

The project is part of a larger pest fish control program under the Invasive Animals CRC and 50-year Native Fish Strategy at the Murray-Darling Basin Commission. Other technologies being developed in the pest fish program include ‘daughterless’ technology, carp-specific biocides, pheromone and sensory attractants.

“It is anticipated that if these technologies are proven to be effective and safe, they will be applied on-ground in an integrated pest fish control program for the Murray-Darling Basin,” Dr Crane says.

*Earlier outbreaks occurred in UK in 1996 but the first scientific reports appeared following the outbreaks in Israel.

Lisa Palu | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au
http://www.csiro.au/csiro/content/standard/ps27o,,.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>